Wednesday, 25 May 2011

What team do you support?

Taking a break from the informative posts, I'm now going to ask a survey. I'd like everyone to fill out the following information, so it's like a football/soccer census really. So.

1. Age
2. Location
3. Team supported
4. Any other teams you admire
5. Most hated team and why.

1. 19
2. Suffolk/ UK
3. Newcastle United
4. Yeovil Town, dunno why but I do
5. Sunderland - The Toon's arch rivals so it's only fair.


Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Top 3 goals this season

Here is my pick of the Top 3 goals in the Premier League this season.

1. Wayne Rooney v Manchester City
This goal was amazing. Perfect accuracy, and such style. Rooney had had a poor season, but this showed everyone that he's still a great scorer.

2. Cheick Tiote v Arsenal
 Great 35-yard volley after a Joey Barton freekick was headed away. And what added to the greatness was that Newcastle were 4-0 down, and this got them back to 4-4 with just 2 minutes left to play. Sensational goal, and the atmosphere in the stadium was magnificent.

3. Jermaine Beckford v Chelsea
Last game of the season saw this amazing solo goal.  Beckford took the ball from his own box, ran the entire length of the pitch, beat pretty much every Chelsea player (Who are considered world-class midfielders and defenders) and calmed a cool chip over Cech. Great way to end a season.

Tell me what you guys think. Remember, these are my opinions.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Ancelotti Axed

Who next for the Chelsea Merrygo-round?
Carlo Ancelotti was sacked within hours of Chelsea's final-day defeat at Everton on Sunday. His future was always a cause of speculation after successive defeats again Manchester United in both the Premiership and the Champions League, leaving Sir Alex's men with the spoils of a trophy, and perhaps another if United can win against Barcelona.

Ancelotti brought Chelsea to their first Premier League and FA Cup double in the history of the club - Something even 'The Special One' Jose Mourinho couldn't do. This was in his first term, but Abromovich wasn't happy with the lack of silverware this season. Even a second-placed finish could save him.

So, the search for a new manager starts, with many names in the frame.
Marco van Basten is bookie's favourite for the job, with Englishman Harry Redknapp behind him. Rednapp could be tempted by the hefty budget handed by Abromovich. Also noted is Gus Hiddink, who had a spell with Chelsea temporarily as he reached the Semi-finals of the Champions League and won the FA cup. However, he turned down a permanent role to go away and coach Russia in 2009. The rest of the list contain Porto boss Andre Villas-Boas, Massimiliano Allegri, and Frank Rijkaard. The biggest two listed are Barcelona's Pep Guardiola and Real Madrid, and former Chelsea manager, the Special One himself.

Mourinho said he'd love to coach Chelsea again, and with relations with Abromovich strong and sorted it could be possible. Guardiola could also leave Barcelona, stating that  "I think my time here at Barcelona is coming to an end... A club like (Barca) must have a lot of courage to keep a coach for all this time because players tire of coaches and vice versa."

Who do you think will be the new manager of Chelsea? If you're a Chelsea supporter, who would you like to see take charge?

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Birmingham and Blackpool join West Ham's departure from the top flight

Birmingham and Blackpool have been relegated from the English Premier League in the last game of the season. Blackpool always had the tougher task, facing off against Manchester United at Old Trafford, whereas Birmingham were hosted by Tottenham. This means Wigan, Blackburn and Wolves were saved from the drop.

Blackburn were hosted by Wolves, while Wigan had to travel to Stoke in order to fight their way from the drop zone. Although Wolves were beaten 3-2 by Blackburn, it was still enough to stay up, as Blackpool and Birmingham (who were below them) failed to get a point.

Wigan, who were at the time second from bottom, needed a win to ensure safety (due to goal difference). And it was Rodallega who scored for their survival, with 400 jubilant fans there to witness it. The '76th minute goal ensured another season of Premier League football awaited them.
Blackpool had the harder task, and were soon down a goal in the 21st minute, courtesy of Ji Sung Park. However, the Seasider's talisman Charlie Adams levelled the scored to 1-1, and by this time they were out of the relegation zone at half time. They then miraculously went 2-1 up, and it seemed that Blackpool COULD have gotten a point. However, THREE defensive blunders allowed Andison, Owen, and an own goal by Evatt, to give Man Utd a 4-2 win, even with a weakened side.
Birmingham went down a goal too, this time at the start of the interval. It seemed to have been a tough day, until Gardner pulled a goal back, and with Wolves with a worse goal difference, the Brummies were out of the relegation zone. However, Pavlyuchenko piled on the misery and scored an injury time goal to seal the fate of the ill-prepared Birmingham. 

So, Goodbye West Ham, Blackpool and Birmingham; hello QPR, Norwich and either Swansea or Reading. The three relegated teams may struggle to make an impact in the Championship, but it's sure that the newly promoted ones will struggle more. 

Football League season 2010/11 ends, but the transfer gossip has now begun.
It's been a thrilling and long season, and next year will be the same. 

Thanks for reading.

Friday, 20 May 2011

The Battle of the Titans - Manchester United v Barcelona

The two greatest teams on the planet battle it out at Wembley next week. The Champions League Final is the biggest club-competition around, and both teams will go all out to win. Barcelona are arguably the world's best team, with Messi, Iniesta and Xavi powerhousing the heart of the team. With the worlds best player - Messi - even a team like Man Utd will struggle to play them.

Both teams are champions of their respective nations, with Barcelona winning the La Liga, and United the Premier Leauge. It's as if the stars have aligned so that all football fans can witness this match. They met two years ago, at the same stage, with Barcelona winning 2-0, courtesy of two Lionel Messi goals. However, it could be different this year. Arsenal fought out a 2-1 victory against Barcelona earlier in the competition, showing that they're not unbeatable. The Catalan's then had to go all out at home, winning the 2nd leg 3-1 (with Arsenal's Van Persie picking up a very controversial red card). If Van Persie didn't get sent off, then Arsenal could well have beaten them.

Manchester United have outplayed all of their opponents in the knockout stages, showing their maturity in the competition. If it wasn't for Schalke's goalkeeper, and Man Utd target Neuer, the scoreline could've hit double figures. Barcelona controversially beat rivals Real Madrid in the Semi's, coutesty of Messi yet again.

Either team could win. If United are on form, with Messi and Hernandez working well together, they could easily win. That said, if Messi is on fire like he was against Arsenal and Real, then it's Barce's for the taking. Expect an awesome match at Wembley on the 28th; It's sure to be spectaculor.

What are your opinions?

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Relegation dogfight

So, West Ham are down, but as we approach the last game of the season, the last two places are up for grabs. Wigan and Blackpool currently occupy those spots, each on 39 points. Birmingham join them on 39, while Wolves and Blackburn are above them, with a point more. Any of these teams can go down.

Blackpool will seem to have the hardest job though, facing Manchester United in the final game. However, with Man Utd in the Champions League Final facing off against Barcelona, they may well play a weaker side, giving Blackpool a major chance. Although this is against the rules (FA regulations say that the strongest side must always be fielded) and if this does happen, with Blackpool picking up a win or draw lifting them out of the zone, then expect fury from the teams that do get relegated. This could be Blackpool's lifeline.

Wigan are away to Stoke, who are a tough team. They recently got beaten in the FA cup final (By Manchester City and their Millions) by a close encounter, and were seen off by a 1-0 victory to the Blues. Personally, I feel Wigan will lose, unless N'Zogbia, their talisman, can come up with something special.

Birmingham are another team with a hard fixture. Tottenham away is always tough, even for sides in the top half of the table. After this League Cup win against Arsenal, they've suffered numerous defeats and have seen the team slide down the table. Tottenham will be looking for a win at home, and hoping that they don't suffer more defeats, which have seen them fall out of the Champions League spots, and are only just clinging on to a Europa League hope. However, they've struggled for goals in the second half of the season, and therefore could struggle here.

Lastly, Wolves and Blackburn meet. This will be the most interesting game, as either side, could fall at the final hurdle. This will be a must win for both teams, who've struggled throughout. Howeverm Wolves have been enjoying wins over the past two weeks, winning 3-1 against WBA and Sunderland. This could give them the momentum to beat Blackburn, and I'm sure they will edge out a 1-0 win.

My predictions are as followed: I think Blackpool could find a draw, or even a win, and move out of the bottom 3. Sadly, Wigan will get beaten and they fully deserve to go down. With their small attendances, they won't even be missed. The final place will be claimed by Birmingham, who've struggled all season, and Tottenham will be going all out to ensure a Europa League spot.

These are just my opinions, what are yours?

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

The Hammer's Bubbles' Burst

West Ham were relegated this weekend after a 3-2 defeat to the hands of fellow relegation strugglers, Wigan. However, they were 2-0 up at half time, but a two-goal heroics by Newcastle and Sunderland-target N'Zogbia burst the Hammer's bubbles and sent them packing. Now it's all about whether or not they can turn this dark time behind them and manage to find the fighting spirit to return to the top flight. However, with the eventual loss of their key players (Green, Bridge, Ba, their captain and talisman Parker, Carlton Cole just being some of them) will they end up doing a Portsmouth?

Of course, Pompey were in administration, but with the loss of key players they've became a mid-championship team, just like Middlesbrough before them. This could be a future for the Hammers, or they can do a Newcastle and ferociously force their way back up.

Either way you think of it, it's hard to believe that an Olympic stadiu, with a capacity of 80,000, will be home to a team in the Second Tier of Football. It is indeed the third largest stadium in England, behind Wembley and Twickenha. Of course, Tottenham won't be happy in the slightest. They'll now have a bigger argument to why they should have it. Spurs are a solid team with in the Premiership, reaching the Champions League last season but having to settle with the Europa Leage this season. Be sure to hear more about this case in the near future.

Do you think West Ham will go straight back up into the Premiership? Or will they struggle to find momentum within the Championship? Have your say here.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Toon Vs Mackems

Sunderland's aim of the season was to finish top 10. Newcastle's was to stay up. Now, in time these change. Due to progresses throughout the season the Toon have managed to far exceed expectations, whereas Sunderland have done the opposite (although they still can reach the top 10).

Steve Bruce has urged the fans and players that their aim is now to beat their rivals, but it is Newcastle in the driving seat coming into the last game of the season. Newcastle (12th) and Sunderland (14th) have been neck and neck the last month and a half or so, but it could've been over ages ago. With just a single point between the two North East teams, yet Newcastle having a far superior goal difference, It's certaintly going to be a close one. A win at Bolton for the Mackems gave them spirit which had been lost in recent months, but this has vanished after being overturned by the lowly Wolverhampton.

As said before, it's surprising that the last match of the season will determine who'll finish above who. Sunderland were flying high in December, reaching 6th and a European spot within reach. This of course coming off the back of a 5-1 thrashing to the hands of the Magpies themselves on Halloween. Of course, many were shocked.

With Sunderland 6th, Newcastle were 12 points behind and therefore the Black Cats were seeming to run away from their rivals. However, disaster struck Sunderland for the second time in two seasons, with a winless streak from February, lasting 9 games (with 8 of them losses). This lack of confidence diminished faith within the Sunderland camp, and they've duly paid the price.

Newcastle have hada bumpy road this season. At times they've beaten teams 5-0, 6-0, 5-1, 4-1, but then again they also lose to similar scorelines. After Hughton got sacked many fans dreaded the appointment of Pardew. However, the 3-1 victory over Liverpool did the job. Even after Carroll left in January for a whopping £35million, they've still been able to score goals. However, they're also known for being incompetent.

So, here we are. One match left. Newcastle with a points lead and a superior goal difference, meaning Sunderland have to win and Newcastle lose or draw for the Black Cats fans to be jubiliant. With Sunderland playing the already relegated West Ham, and the Toon against West Brom, the Mackems will seem the favourites in their match, whilst the Toon may struggle. But with recent form this could be different. I know a lot of Sunderland fans who were banging on about their last 8 'easy' run in, saying points would fly from everywhere. But only 2 of those were won, making 6 points in an 'easy' 24. The Toon have played well at St James' Park, but are also inconsistant. This will be a very interesting last match day.

Who do you think will finish above? And what will the results be on the day? Leave your comments below.